Addiction Recovery

How Long Does Inpatient Treatment Last? The Timeline for Inpatient Drug Rehab

How Long Does Inpatient Treatment Last?

How long does inpatient treatment last? Our blog examines the length of inpatient treatment, what to expect during it, and more. Read on.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Addiction Recovery

November 23, 2023

Drug detox isn't easy. The first important step in freedom from drug and alcohol addiction, drug detox can be a trying experience for many. Inpatient treatment is the natural next level of care from drug detox. It continues the close monitoring of drug detox with the first step into active recovery.

But how long does inpatient treatment last?

The crucial thing to remember about drug and alcohol treatment is that it isn't a race. People move between levels of care when their needs are met and they're ready to progress. Still, it's natural to wonder how long this level of care takes.

Many of us may not realize the intensity of the substance abuse problem currently faced by the United States of America. Almost half of the country's population has used illicit drug substances. The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) data shows many people have died from drug overdoses.

Various federal policies have started focusing on these issues since many people are battling this detrimental condition. Instead of focusing on penalties, restrictions, and punishments, the policies are becoming increasingly helpful and supportive. Drug rehab centers have been opened nationwide to help people through addiction. Different rehabilitation programs, counseling therapies, medications, and care settings are offered. 

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What Is Inpatient Treatment?

According to statistical data, there are about 16,066 substance abuse facilities in the United States, most of which are in California. These thousands of facilities offer various types of treatment programs. Whenever a person starts looking to overcome addiction and embark on the sobriety journey, the expectation should be informed and realistic.

It can take time for the brain chemistry to be restored to normal. Long-term treatment programs can be very beneficial in treating tough addiction cases. Inpatient treatment is among those kinds. Inpatient drug rehab treatment should be understood as the highest level of care. 

It is a form of treatment setting that offers a monitored environment with minimum risk of relapse. It is closely supervised by the medical team and rehab staff. The medical attention a patient gets is for physical complications and overcoming mental and emotional challenges.

Most inpatient drug rehabs offer different services. Services change according to location, staff expertise, amenities, and therapies. However, a patient can look forward to inpatient treatment with around-the-clock care, medical detox, emotional support, secure space, and the highest level of treatment care. 

Inpatient treatment is also known by the term residential treatment. This is because the patient's stay is included in treatment. They are required to reside in the facility throughout the length of the treatment. Most inpatient drug rehab centers typically offer family programs where members can help support the patient through counseling and other activities.

Apart from accommodation, inpatient treatment also offers cafeteria-like meals, recreational activities, shared rooms or private suites, a spa, a gym, and other amenities. 

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Benefits of Inpatient Treatment Programs

Even though we will give a detailed insight into the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment, we can still say that inpatient programs have various advantages over outpatient ones. Some of these benefits include better success rate and safety.

Supervised Detox

Drug detox can be a very painful and uncomfortable experience for someone who has been abusing drugs for a long time. Each drug has a different set of withdrawal symptoms. Still, some common ones include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and intense craving. It can lead to severe complications like seizures as well.

This is why it is hazardous to detox on your own. Inpatient treatment offers a safe place to detox. The medical professionals will look after the vital and can monitor the progress too. They will also prescribe medications to minimize the side effects of withdrawal. 

Higher Success Rate

It is often noticed that whenever a person in outpatient treatment relapses, they go straight to their dealer or liquor store for purchase. In other circumstances, the relapse can be the toxic and negative environment they live in. This is where inpatient treatment has advantages.

Patients in inpatient treatment do not have access to drugs or alcohol. So there is less risk of relapse. Besides that, inpatient treatment helps patients acquire coping skills through relapse prevention plans. 


One of the biggest advantages of inpatient treatment is the affinity and fellowship among the patients, counselors, and staff members. This is primarily in the case of dual diagnosis inpatient treatment centers. Patients battling addiction and sometimes co-occurring mental health disorders need emotional support to restore the psychological damage done by substance abuse.

A solid support system of people who understand their struggles can be everything. So patients in the inpatient facility have that backing and positive crows to surround themselves with. They further help them to secure employment opportunities too. 

Understanding the Length of Treatment

Many people unfamiliar with substance use disorder treatment have many queries regarding the length of their stay. They have questions about meeting their family members and friends, the cost of treatment, insurance eligibility, and, most importantly, the duration.

The thing to remember is substance abuse treatment does not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone will have a unique journey. This does not mean there are no fixed programs. In fact, depending on the intensity of the addiction, the patients are admitted to these treatment options.

The general lengths of most inpatient treatment programs are:

  • 30-day program

  • 60-day program

  • 90-day program

Most drug rehabs offer – and encourage – longer stays. Remember, the longer spent in rehab the greater chance of recovery.

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How Long Is Inpatient Treatment?

As mentioned before, drug addiction is a complicated condition that can develop in different ways in people. Treatment required by one person would not necessarily benefit another. This is why the length of inpatient treatment often varies from person to person.

Several factors determine the length of inpatient treatment. For instance, the intensity of addiction symptoms plays a big role but is not the only factor. One person’s stay in inpatient treatment would not work for everyone. It is highly individualized.

Some individuals respond well to the treatment and end up making quicker progress. On the other hand, others require long-term care in inpatient treatment. The progression should be evaluated throughout treatment, so they do not release patients before they’re ready.

However, regardless of the duration, the aftercare programs matter the most. These programs are scheduled after leaving the facility. This continued form of care leads to long-term sobriety. 

What Can You Bring to Inpatient Treatment?

Most rehabs have strict and rigid policies on what and what not to bring during their stay in inpatient rehab. Generally, all rehab provides a checklist to ensure everyone is on the directions regarding what to pack. Naturally, they do allow all the essentials needed for the stay.

Policies on miscellaneous items, on the other hand, can vary from one rehab to another. Rehab staff will inspect every patient's baggage to ensure they bring prohibited items with them.

Most rehabs allow the following things:

  • Name, address, and numbers of friends, family members, sponsors, and medical health professionals 

  • Less valuable jewelry or wedding rings and watches

  • Alarm clock without radio

  • Prescribed medication along with prescription and dosage.

  • Insurance card

  • Cash or bank card

  • Stamps and envelopes

  • Journal or notebook

  • Pictures

  • General clothing items

  • General personal hygiene items

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What Is the Difference Between Inpatient Treatment and Outpatient Treatment?

Even though they both have the same goal, there are a lot of differences between inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Inpatient treatment centers require patients to stay in the facility. Outpatient treatment lets the patients stay at home, or in a sober living home.

Unlike inpatient treatment, outpatient care is recommended for people with less severe issues or farther along in recovery. The length of stay is different as people can use outpatient facilities for far longer. The cost is also different as inpatient treatment cares for accommodation, food, and other facilities. 

How Do Inpatient Treatment Centers Work?

Everyone who opts for inpatient treatment doesn't need to do that voluntarily. Sure, some people seek treatment of their own accord, but some are mandated to attend these centers by the court. Others attend them at the request of their family members.

Regardless of the reason, it is essential to identify the need and signs that a person needs to attend inpatient rehab. So, as soon as you decide inpatient treatment is the best way to deal with your substance abuse, you must find a well-reputed inpatient rehab center.

Looking for a good inpatient rehab facility does not have to be time-consuming and expensive. It can get a little overwhelming if you are alone searching for it. You must ask for help. The Edge Treatment Center is happy to help you research and find the right inpatient treatment center for you.

Once you have enrolled in an inpatient rehab, you would have to check into the center. An inpatient rehab facility offers comprehensive recovery services in a secure and controlled environment. 24 hours of medical supervision and care is the best way to overcome a relapsing condition such as SUD. Inpatient rehab typically starts off with a medically managed detox.

Drug Detox

Detox or detoxification is when a person starts detoxing from addictive substances under medical supervision. This supervision is important to manage the withdrawal symptoms experienced during this period. It can take three to seven days to detox completely. 

After detox, the person can stay in the residential facility for a month or longer, depending on the substance and treatment offered. They can later be shifted to outpatient treatment, where they can reside in a sober living house if they do not have a place to live. It would help if you also met mental health professionals like therapists and counselors as you recover. Slowly the treatment will get tapered to a few visits in a month. Only then can a patient move to a continued level of care from an intensive one. 

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The Edge Treatment Center Provides Expert Addiction Care

Those who suffer from substance use disorder (SUD) do not find it easy to seek help. Going for recovery treatment takes a lot of determination, self-evaluation, and strength. This is because overcoming addiction is a lifelong process. Whether it's inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment, time spent in recovery is the best way to treat addiction to drugs and alcohol.

SUD is a complex disorder that creates long-term dependency among users. Each patient can have different signs and symptoms of addiction. There is a strong possibility that the intensity of the addiction system is different in each SUD patient. Yes, there is a generalized form of treatment, but mostly, the approach is individualistic.

If you or someone close to you may show signs of SUD, it is best to get professional medical help.

The Edge Treatment Center uses evidence-based, proven methods to treat drug and alcohol addiction. We maintain trusted, valuable relationships with many of the nation’s leading inpatient treatment centers, and we’ll help you find the right one for your specific needs.

If you’d like to learn more about inpatient treatment for drug addiction, reach out to The Edge Treatment Center today.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.